Thank you for making the 57th Annual Greek Food Festival of Dallas a delicious success! We’re thrilled to reveal our top ten snapshots from the awe-inspiring weekend, because our 2013 event was more than worthy of a photo finish!
Marchella Simon (center) makes new friends during Opa! Hour.
You’re never too young to get your Greek on!
Traditional Greek dancers have everyone donning smiles.
D Magazine’s SideDish swooned for our baklava sundae!
Girl time gets shady at the GFFD.
Friday night revelers get in the swing of things during Opa! Hour.
Stylish Greek fashion on display at the Agora.
Young performers shine on from the festival’s main stage.
Did you enjoy our lovely loukoumades?
Festival volunteers kick it up, Greek-style!
We are! With less than a few hours ‘til kick off, we’re sharing some last minute tips to make the most of your experience at the 57th Annual Greek Food Festival of Dallas.
FRIDAY | 9.27
SATURDAY | 9.28
SUNDAY | 9.29
Don’t have your tickets yet?! Don’t worry; you can still snag passes online or at the door. To keep up with every moment of the 2013 GFFD, join us online via our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
The festival fun gets underway in less than three days … do you have your tickets yet?! Snag your passes online now or purchase them at the door, but either way, don’t miss the 57th Annual Greek Food Festival of Dallas’ three-day bash this weekend, September 27 to 29.
While the annual event offers an incredible abundance of things to do, chic people to see, and treats to eat, we’re especially excited for our new culinary arrival - lamb sliders! Get the scoop on the great Greek dish with a delicious recipe from Martha Stewart.
The Greek Food Festival of Dallas is the culmination of the efforts of proud Greeks across the Dallas metro, but we couldn’t pull off the momentous occasion without the bold businesses that support our annual event. Today, we’re turning the spotlight on our sponsors by introducing you to some of the famous eateries that help the GFFD honor the Greek in all of us.
Did you know that revelers will buy and bite into more than 40,000 traditional pastries during the Greek Food Festival of Dallas? Get to know three women whose sweet culinary skills set the delicious scene, as we introduce you to the elite bakers behind the event.
MEET THE SWEETHEARTS: Angie Austin, Tony Davrados, and Eleni Papathanasiou, affectionately known as the “Pastry Sisters,” have headed the herculean task of baking for the GFFD for the past 10 years.
THE FESTIVAL FAMILY: The sweet siblings credit their mother for inspiring their commitment to volunteerism and for connecting them to the festival from an early age. Each fall, the sisters team up for the GFFD’s pre-event “Baking Days,” where they lead the creation of Greek pastries that reflect their heritage. Relying on recipes that have been handed down through many decades, the girls’ current concoctions combine tradition with their own tried-and-true tweaks and tricks. According to the talented group, the most rewarding part of the task is having the opportunity to share their top-secret baking techniques with the next generation.
BEHIND THE SCENES: The thousands of pastries prepared for the GFFD come together over the month leading up to the three-day festival, and the sisters spend most of September in the kitchen, leading teams of 80 to 100 parishioners as they lend a hand during six cherished “Baking Days” at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. When their deliciously rigorous shifts conclude, they will have created an array of enviable eats including koulouria, paximathia, sesame cookies, kourambiethes, fenekia, and baklava. While bakalava is typically a festival frontrunner, the “Pastry Sisters” claim kouramiethes – the powdered-sugar covered dough balls – are a close second.
No celebration of Greek culture is complete without the country’s signature drink – Ouzo! With the Greek Food Festival of Dallas less than 10 days away, we’re celebrating the National Drink of Greece and getting the party started with a lesson in prepping, serving, and mixing the famed libation.
STIRRING UP TRADITION: It’s easy to host an at-home ouzo tasting, because the only mixers necessary are ice and water! Prepare a traditional ouzo offering as follows:
At the Greek Food Festival of Dallas, the term “Opa!” defines our annual opening night celebration, and we’ll be kicking off the festivities Friday, September 27, with our Opa! Hour bash from 5 to 7 p.m. With the big event just four days away, we’ve done a little investigating to discover the many ways can you say - and use - the party-starting phrase. Get ready to Get Greek!, because we’re teaching you how, when, and where to apply the popular shout out to sound like a native.
Performing his hit “Opa!” as Greece’s official entry in Eurovision’s 2010 song contest, entertainer Giorgos Alkaios offered his own interpretation of the term.
While we can’t wait to Get Greek! with the legions of loyal fans who return to our event each year, we revel in welcoming festival first-timers! If you’re among our many new fans and followers for the 2013 Greek Food Festival of Dallas (GFFD), we’ll help you get going - and get dressed - for the delicious three-day bash with our handy how-to guide.
Find out how you can be among the GFFD’s well-heeled guests!
SCORING TICKETS: Taking place September 27 to 29, the GFFD supports Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church‘s ministries, community outreach, and youth programs, and you’ll be helping the organization’s innovative initiatives when you purchase your general admission tickets for adults ($6) and kids (free, 12 and under) online now or by calling 972.233.4880; passes will also be available upon arrival. The festival’s awesome food vendors accept cash, coupons (available for purchase on site), and in some cases, credit cards; be sure to check out our website for detailed information on payment requirements at the event’s indoor and outdoor areas.
GETTING THERE: Hosted by Holy Trinity, located at the intersection of Hillcrest and Alpha Road in Dallas (13555 Hillcrest Road; Dallas, Texas, 75240), you can find directions to the GFFD from anywhere in the metroplex online or by calling 972.233.4880. The festival also makes parking a snap with multiple options including: valet for $10 (at Holy Trinity); self-parking for $5 (atTemple Shalom Synagogue, directly adjacent; Friday and Saturday only); and complimentary off-site parking with bus service (at Brinker International, southwest corner of Hillcrest and LBJ Freeway). Handicapped parking is also complimentary and is available on campus at Holy Trinity.
ROCKING OUT: Live bands, traditional Greek folk dancing, spirited taverna-style music, and of course, a little plate smashing, keeps the rock-and-roll revelry going at the GFFD. Party on near the center stage where the Festival Dancers bring traditions from throughout Greece to life, and follow the beat onto the dance floor to channel your inner Zorba! Ready to raise a glass? Don’t miss the event’s annual opening soiree, Opa! Hour, on Friday, September 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; enjoy half-price admission, visit with Jagger from 102.9 NOW, and get giveaways while they last!
DRESSING UP: The festival’s Agora Marketplace is known for great artisan goods and fab finds for your home - and your wardrobe. But if you want get chic before you Get Greek!, we recommend hitting Holy Trinity’s website for links to retailers offering uniquely Grecian accessories. Among our top picks - heavy-metal chains and charms and peacock-printed scarves and wraps from Skete.com.
Wrap up in style with peacock-printed scarves in a variety of colors, from $39.50; available via Skete.com
In its 57th year, the Greek Food Festival of Dallas is a longstanding tradition that continues to draw a crowd of Greeks and non-Greeks alike! Regardless of heritage, foodies, fashionistas, and fun seekers from around Big D flock to the annual event to celebrate culture and culinary adventure, and today, we’re introducing you to the GFFD family by revealing a few of our favorite festival moments.
Held annually at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Hillcrest Road, the festival welcomes friends and families to stay up late to take in the sunset, relax, and enjoy the revelry!
Opa, indeed! Dance performances are a highlight of the festival, and in addition to the scheduled appearances by the Trinity Hellenic Dancers and many musicians, there are plenty of opportunities for attendees to kick up their heels and Get Greek!
Introducing new generations to great Greek cultural experiences is one of the event’s sweetest traditions, because many of today’s festival organizers grew up attending the festival each fall.
Local bloggers including Neki Bosh (near left) of They’re Just Clothes and social media maven Miranda Bond (far left) can be spotted perusing the GFFD’s Agora Marketplace for jewels, dresses, and home decor by Dallas artisans.
Local Greeks share their family recipes onstage throughout the festival, divulging the secret ingredients and methods that have been passed down to them over generations. After learning how to cook your favorite Greek entrees and sweets, you can head over to the festival’s Pantopolin to purchase the spices and oils you’ll need to replicate them at home, and if you want the delicious dish on the recipes presented, simply purchase a cookbook to get the details on our delectable Greek staples like grape leaves, gyros, baklava, and more.
For even more fabulous Greek fun, we invite you check out our newly redesigned website! Ticket sales for the 2013 Greek Food Festival of Dallas are now open online, and we can’t wait to welcome you to this year’s event! In the meantime, you can connect with the GFFD online anytime via Facebook and Twitter, and coming soon, Instagram!